Under Captain’s orders, the party ordered to honor B-1 was to be “exactly what the men wanted, and nothing spared in meeting their requests and wishes.”
What the bandsmen wanted: a formal affair, with “guests to be their girl friends they had left behind in college.” Buses were sent to Durham and Greensboro to collect the dates and return them safely to their campuses afterwards.
The party itself, the bandsmen requested, would begin with a dinner “served on candle-lit tables” with “lime-ice punch (unspiked) for later in the evening,” and would be followed by “dancing, games and entertainment.”
The Hargraves Center floor, “already shining,” got a double-coat of wax in preparation of the night of dancing. Guests were announced “at exactly 2000” and welcomed by a committee comprised of Willie Currie, “Lanky” Cole, Lawyard Wilson, James Morgan, and Simeon Holloway, “all Mus2c.” Banquet tables were arranged to form a large double V, and “the colors of the gigantic Ensign [seal], which all but covered one wall of the lobby, reflected in streamers of red and blue down the long white tables. Courtesies and manners went unbroken.”
Cole, “trombonist, and swing piano player, the former bandleader at the the Hillside High School, Durham, acted as toast-master, providing laugh after laugh with his natural humor.”
Cmdr. Kessing, Chief Bandmaster Dudrow, and B-1’s own leader, James Parson, Mus2c, were presented, “but there were no long speeches.” Kessing announced to great applause that the bandsmen had the next day off from work.
The Cloudbusters, led by Cole, “stomped off into a short but hot program of jive favorites while the tables were cleared for dancing. Lights were dimmed and 44 sailors in dress blue (shoes glistening) guided their 44 dream girls about the room.”
At midnight, the dancing stopped, the Cloudbusters took up their instruments again and played the “National Anthem,” and the dates boarded their buses back for Durham and Greensboro.
–“Pre-Flight Colored Band Has Made-to-Order Party,” Cloudbuster 24 Oct. 1942: 3 [NC Collection, UNC-CH]